Federal investigators have joined Massachusetts officials in scrutinizing a bid by Partners HealthCare System to acquire South Shore Hospital, one of a growing number of inquiries by regulators concerned that rapid consolidation among US hospitals could drive up health costs. Investigators from the US Justice Department and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office recently spoke with executives from at least three hospital systems that compete with Partners and one health plan, according to several people in the health care industry.
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